Let me tell you about this really cool concept I've just become aware of. It's called LOST CRATES. The idea is brilliant - once a month, a package arrives in the mail - a lost crate, as it were - with goodies inside. Conjures up a simpler time, when people traveled with steamer trunks on grand adventures into the wilds - Africa, Egypt, Turkey. Honeymoons could take up to a year of travel around the globe - and of course, those hearty travelers came home with treasures. So when I heard about Lost Crates I was over the moon. Combine the lost art of traveling the world for priceless artifacts with office supplies, and voila! you have a winning concept.

I filled out the personality quiz and waited breathlessly for my crate to arrive. Yesterday, at long last, it appeared on my doorstep.

Clever packaging helps personalize the box. Inside was a list of the contents - personally, I would have liked to be surprised by unwrapping the goodies and finding the contents card on the bottom, but that's just me.

Love the crackly tissue paper - really gave a nice touch.

The contents of my crate are as follows:

1 Lamy logo mechanical pencil  retail $18.00

1 Quo Vadis Habana Notebook (4x6 pocket) retail $14.25

1 package of Bob's Your Uncle Sticky Page Markers retail $10

Retail total $42.25

The reason I'm including prices is for market comparison: LOST CRATES is a monthly subscription service. The cost is simply $38 a month. That may seem steep on the page, but as you can see, it's less than what you'd pay for these items individually, plus you don't pay shipping.

I love the Lamy pencil. I'm a big fan of all things Lamy, and it happens I use mechanical pencils, so a score there. I'm also a huge Habana fan, and who doesn't need fun sticky notes?

So is it worth it?

Absolutely. This is a brilliant gift for the stationary and pen connoisseur in your life. I think it would also be a fun way friends could trade items they might not be as fond of for more glamorously perceived pieces. And if you don't like an item - well, I can guarantee you that a little gift to your favorite person wouldn't go amiss.

One litte con that I can see off the top.

I must admit, I had been hoping for something a tad more exotic than what my crate contained. I completely bought into the mythology of the Lost Crate concept. It's a huge selling point, one I imagine might be difficult to always fulfill. But if 6 of 10 crates have something truly unique and special in them, the service fufills the promise. And from what I can see from the teaser email, there were some really special items in this month's crates. Which tells me I screwed up the personality test. : ) (Yo, left brain - take a hike!)

As you can tell, this is a tiny issue. Overall, this is a hugely fantastic idea. Lost Crates is a wonderful way to capture fun and innocence, plus, you get to try some of the coolests products on the market today. I really appreciate Sarah Ostman from LOST CRATES giving me the chance to see what the service is all about. I'm hooked, and I hope you will be too. This is an elegant, unique and sexy concept that will appeal to all of the penmonkeys out there.

Now. Can I retake that test???

Sign up for LOST CRATES here!